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Publisher's Summary

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere; she wants to run to somewhere - to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem, she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Or is it? Claudia is determined to find out.

This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

©2007 E.L. Konigsburg (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"After reading this book, I guarantee that you will never visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or any wonderful, old cavern of a museum) without sneaking into the bathrooms to look for Claudia and her brother Jamie....Such is the impact of timeless novels...they never leave us. E. L. Konigsburg won the 1967 Newbery Medal for this tale." (Amazon.com review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining to all four of my kids

Would you consider the audio edition of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to be better than the print version?

We listened to this on a road trip with my 5yr old, 7yr old, 10 yr old and 13yr old in the car. Everyone enjoyed it! Great story and great performance!!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How to be different on the inside, where it counts

I read this book as a child, loved it, and had wonderful memories of the excitement, mystery, and thrills that E.L. Konigsburg gave to Claudia and James. Like every other child that has read the book, I was jealous and dreamed of planning, saving, and running away to the Metropolitan Museum. When I heard that E.L. Konigsburg had passed away, I decided to reread the book. I hadn't thought about how different this rereading might be, 45 years later, but if anything I'm even more convinced that this is one of the best works of fiction ever, for children and adults. When I read this as a child, the poignancy of the ending went over my head, but as an adult and mother, this really stands out for me now. I'm not going to spoil it by spelling it out, but just want to say that this book is about so much more than running away, the Metropolitan Museum, and Michelangelo, and well worth listening to by children AND adults.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca
  • Clearwater, FL, United States
  • 10-08-12

Studying to be a teacher

What made the experience of listening to From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler the most enjoyable?

It was a fun adventure for kids. From a teachers perspective I appreciate how the author sprinkles a variety of educational content (from math, english/grammar to social studies and art) throughout the story. This way the book can be used as a read aloud and then referred to throughout the day when teaching other subjects.

Which scene was your favorite?

There were so many great parts, so it is hard to pick just one. I guess, Saturday night when Jaimie was stuck hiding in the bathroom because the workers were there moving the statue. He was worried that Claudia wouldn't know not to leave the bathroom so he thought if he just thought "Stay Put!" really hard that maybe he could think to message directly to her. You will have to read or listen to the book if you want to find out if they got caught or not.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I liked how the children's perspective of each other changed from self-serving to team work. I also like how thier relationship with Mrs. Frankweiler turned out.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • 07-20-15

still a great and meaningful read

my grand daughter and I listened to this over the last word days. it had been a favorite of her step mother's, and although her life has been very different she was drawn to the story, identifying with many of Claudia ' s feelings and enjoying the adventure. I still had tears in my eyes during the last 20 minutes.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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classic kids book

Read this the mutipleI had of course read this as a kid, remembered I had liked it but couldn't really remember what it was about.

Listening to it now: It really is a beautiful little short story -- although I'd, as a responsible adult, be afraid to have little kids read it for fear it might give them ideas.

The story surrounds two kids who run away from home and take up residence at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. They managed to survive there for a few days undiscovered, hiding from the guards and sleeping in one of the antique beds before deciding to head home. The one thing that irritated me as unrealistic was while they discovered they could find change to live on in the fountain of the museum's restaurant they somehow never thought to check its kitchens for food even though they were described as hungry throughout.

What makes the story so wonderful is the relationship between the two siblings and the way they choose to spend their days. These are two very likable little kids and Konigsburg's imagery is wonderful.

I remembered, as a kid reading it the first time being irritated because the book's title was about Mrs Basil E Frankweiler and her files... which in fact are only a tiny fraction of the story at almost the very end... and I had kept thinking "when do we get to the files?" only to be ultimately let down by them. As an adult I still think the book's title is misleading, and that Konisburg kind of takes a sudden left hand turn in the attempt to give the story some sort of deeper meaning... I can see where she's going with it but even as an adult I kind of felt it was the least interesting part of the book. Also I think the surprise "twist" at the end kind of ruins the story and was not only utterly unnecessary but in fact cheapened the actions of Mrs Frankweiler

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wonderful story

I loved this book when I was a kid. I bought this audible so that my daughter and I could listen to it together. By the end of the story, three of my children were gathered around wanting to hear the end! I still love the story now as much as I did as a kid!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Grace

This book was a great book!I don't think I will ever read a better book than this.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Delayed message

Good for a pre-teen. But, the 1967 context is dated; the story drags on too long; the narration is overly dramatic; and the tropes are tiresome.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

E.L. Konigsburg book, "From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a brilliant book; a classic. My 10 year old son and I loved this book. This book was first published in the late 1960s and here in 2011 is being used in his school's AIG class in fun, creative, educational ways. Kids may grow up faster these days, but they are not growing up smarter. Claudia and Jamie are not only quick-witted and super smart, but they have moxie and grit you don't see in kids today (unfortunately in current day, moxie & grit have been replaced with whining and impatience). We want to read more E.L. Konigsburg works; we've been very entertained and educated. But for right now we are going to let all that we love about "Mixed-up Files" float around in us and fill us up for the time being. P.S. My mother would love Claudia's passion for grammar.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

fun kids classic

don't remember if i read this as a kid or i missed it but it is very fun and a little more advanced than i thought it would be. some serious issues but on the whole of a simpler time. a little bit of a kid's detective story and adventure. definitely some things that would have to be discussed with little kids in todays society (run aways and hiding out and parents side of things). still good and does show kids using imaginations and thinking.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful